The winners for outstanding poster presentations were Vincent Hyenne, Jaewook Lee, Maria Amorim, Rikke Baek, Charles Ping-Kuang-Lai, Katy Wong, Konstantinos Sdrimas, Maria Mossberg, Maja Burdek, Kohei Yuyama, Lo Cicero, Keith O’Brien, Anna Banizs, and Takeshi Katsuda.
The winners for outstanding oral presentations were Stephen Biller, Stefania Bruno, Carolina Villarroya-Beltri, Luis Ortiz, Thomas Wurdinger, Susmita Sahoo, Aled Clayton, Muthuvel Jayachandran, and Esther Nolte’tHoen.
Next came a surprise—the awarding of a beautiful and richly deserved ISEV Special Achievement Award to President Dr. Jan Lotvall. The surprised Dr. Lotvall came back to the podium and accepted the lovely award and said that he was “extremely honored and touched.”
This was followed by the noting of meeting highlights in the area of clinical applications as described by Dr. Peter Quesenberry and general highlights as described by Dr. Marca Wauben. Of the 427 abstracts, Dr. Quesenberry selected 101 as being of significant clinical interest. These included many in the areas of solid and hematological cancers. In addition, a significant number addressed neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Miscellaneous subjects of clinical interest included a study of smoking, exosomes, and lung cancer; and the use of photoactive vesicles for cancer therapy. Dr. Quesenberry predicted that clinical trials with microvesicles will be a critical feature of ISEV meetings within 2-3 years.
Dr. Wauben said that many of the most important meeting highlights for her were comments that she heard from scientists as she moved around the meeting and attended the various poster sessions. The posters, in fact, are “in the heart of our society,” she said. She provided some data to document the progress of the society. The first international workshop in Paris in 2011 featured 115 abstracts and focused on exosomes. The first ISEV Congress in 2012 featured 255 abstracts and focused on not only exosomes, but also microvesicles and microparticles. This year’s ISEV Congress featured 427 abstracts and focused on exosomes, microvesicles, and outer membrane vesicles from the bacteria. This progress came together with a significant increase in cross-talk between and among different disciplines. One strong message coming out of this year’s meeting, Dr. Wauben said, is that microvesicles “offer a tremendous opportunity for clinical applications.”
Next, Dr. Lotvall announced that the site for the 2014 ISEV annual congress would be Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He called upon Netherlands native Dr. Wauben to provide additional details on the Rotterdam congress. She reported that the venue would be “De Doelen” in the heart of the city and that the official accommodations would be The Manhattan Hotel. The 2014 congress is scheduled to take place April 30-May 3, 2014, she said.
Dr. Lotvall once again returned to the podium to thank all the attendees for participating in the meeting, and to also note the wonderful help provided by the hotel and technical staff. In particular, he also wanted to express his tremendous gratitude to the chief local organizer, Dr. Fred Hochberg. “Without his great energies and enthusiasm, this wonderful meeting could never have been as successful as it was,” Dr. Lotvall said.
Dr. Hochberg then came to the podium to make some final remarks. He noted that representatives of the NIH Common Fund had attended this meeting in order to learn what directions their $133 million in exosome-related funding should take over the next five years. He said that three plenary session speakers had left deep impressions on him—Dr. John Quackenbush with his emphasis on clinical data, Dr. Robert Langer with his paradigms of drug loading, and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Phillip Sharp with his stressing of the importance of quantitating RNA. Dr. Hochberg then asked those in the audience to raise their hands if they had initiated at least one new collaboration during the course of this meeting. At least 50% of the attendees raised their hands.
Finally, Dr. Hochberg enthusiastically thanked the many volunteers who had contributed so mightily and selflessly to the success of this meeting. He called them up to be recognized and then declared that the wonderful ISEV Boston 2013 meeting was finished. And what a truly wonderful meeting it had been. See you in Rotterdam in 2014!